First Week

My official coursework at LSU began Wednesday afternoon with Biogeochemistry of Wetlands, Soils, and Sediments taught adjunct with the agronomy and ocean sciences department. I’m very excited about this class because it will 1) go into detail how nutrients, metals, and toxic organic compounds are cycled through aquatic systems 2) put into perspective the significance of these processes on the environment, water quality, and even climate change 3) drastically help with my research. Starting next week I will begin attending my two other courses as well: Fate and Transport of Reactive Chemicals in Soil and a seminar in Hydrology.

This past week I also began diving into my research, focusing on water quality and hydrology of the Atchafalaya River. The first year of my research I will spend a fair amount of time pulling water quality samples at 7 different sites between the Atchafalaya, Mississippi, and Red Rivers once a month and processing all of the data. Tomorrow I begin prepping the lab for my first sampling trip next Sunday. I’m very excited to not only gain in-the-field water sampling experience, but also to go out and experience these ecosystems that are so very different from what I grew up with the northern Indiana.And lastly I also proud to announce I will be presenting at the 11th Annual Louisiana Groundwater, Surface Water, and Water Resources Symposium held at LSU in April of this year. My presentation will cover concentrations of various metal compounds found in three rivers in southern Louisiana.

Even though school and work finally started to kick up this past week, we were able to find time for some fun this weekend by running the Louisiana Half Marathon located one block from our apartment in downtown Baton Rouge. It was Meredith’s first half marathon and she did fantastic. I see a full marathon for her in the near future! Overall, it was a brilliant event that hosted a 5K, quarter marathon, and kids marathon (1.2 miles) on Saturday; then a half and full marathon on Sunday. Your entrance fee to any of these races also provided you with access to numerous Louisiana style food and drink  options provided by several vendors both days. My favorite was the chicken and sausage gumbo, while Meredith swooned over the crawfish mac & cheese.

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